Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Iowahawk: Mohammad Cartoon Halloween Character

Okay, so I stop by to see what trouble is going down, tricks, given the day and all at Iowahawk--he of many brewskies, manliness and testosterone-induced dull-wittedness. Well, I see at the bottom of this post a guy dressing up like the Mohammad Cartoon. Go over and have a look. Huh-larious. Also, there is a link there to a charity helping soldiers with lost limbs get voice activated computers. How cool is that?

Can you live without your computer or internets thingamabobby? Nope, neither can I.

Oh, and boys, don't miss his Hoosegow Honey. She's a keeper.

UPDATE: Go see more of Chaika as the Mohammad Cartoon here. Thanks for stopping by Chaika!

"When did they start selling empowerment as whore?"

Didn't you know, ladies, that's what a liberated woman is these days? A two-bit ho and proud of it!

My husband brought up this very issue. I studiously ignored him. He said, "You know, my patients are saying that Halloween is the day that a girl can dress up like a tramp and get away with it." I rolled my eyes. I know. I had been to Target.

Then, to emphasize the point, on the news that night a bunch of grown single women went shopping for the sluttiest outfits ever and proclaimed, "It's the only day we can do this! It's so much fun, ya know?!" Giggle. Giggle. Actually, ladies, you could dress this way full time and probably make a lot more money for your trouble.

It is bad enough for women to do this...now we have pole-dancing kits for youngsters. You've read about it, which is why I haven't posted about it. Still, please tell me how this toy builds society? Hmmmmm....

MaxedOutMama says that sometimes women are ridiculous. One small step for slut-kind, one giant leap back for women.

H/T Instapundit

John Kerry Reveals Democrat's True Beliefs about Soldiers--UPDATED Scroll Down, Updated Again

Count on John Kerry to clarify the Democrat's stance on the military. Here it is:

John Kerry's words beg so many questions. He has contempt for the military--that much is clear. I wonder what, exactly, he did over in Vietnam, what guilt and shame he carries with him into his civilian life. Did he go to Vietnam for the express purpose of undermining the military forever? Is he that calculated?

Most people who have experienced war, come back quite certain that war is hell. Many come back ambivalent. Some come back and decide that pacifism is the only way. Some come back and hate war and become timid when power is need. Colin Powell comes to mind in the last instance.

It seems to me that in this too-smart world, that there is no justifiable use for force if you're a Progressive. The Democrats seem to believe that it is unfair that America is the lone super power. I always felt that Clinton giving away the secrets to the Chinese was about leveling the playing field--making things fair. In Clinton's case, he looked conflicted and pained every time he attempted a salute. He just couldn't do it. The military made him queasy. The military after all symbolizes a line in the sand--this side is right, this side is wrong. That is very uncomfortable for relativist, secular intellectuals.

Where there is no morality, or the morality is skewed to what feels fair, it can make sense that all people should have access to what American's have access to. If we are decimated by nuclear weapons in the hands of psychopaths--well, it's our own damn fault for making them to begin with. We're lucky to have survived this long. Nuclear weapons are dangerous. (Not crazy people wielding nuclear weapons are dangerous.)

This moral equivalence will be the West's suicide. I shudder to imagine what the world would look like with a President like Kerry in charge.

A note: I tried to find the Kerry clip on YouTube, went to Instapundit where he had just posted on it and then found it via Gateway Pundit. Gateway Pundit also has the statistics about today's military recruits. Don't confuse Kerry with the facts, though. He wants to lie and make it seem like urban kids make up the military. Nope, it's the children of the conservative suburban and rural voters who make up the military you ungrateful snob.

For his part, Glenn Reynolds says this about Kerry's unconscionable remarks:

Kerry's suggestion that the troops in Iraq are dumb failures is not only reprehensible, but false on the facts. In other words, a typical Kerry performance, just in time for the elections. Democrats must be wondering what they were thinking to nominate him in 2004, and why he won't go away now.
He also notes a release from John McCain's office:
The suggestion that only the least educated Americans would agree to serve in the military and fight in Iraq, is an insult to every soldier serving in combat, and should deeply offend any American with an ounce of appreciation for what they suffer and risk so that the rest of us can sleep more comfortably at night. Without them, we wouldn't live in a country where people securely possess all their God-given rights, including the right to express insensitive, ill-considered and uninformed remarks.
Ace says: Report for Duty, Idiots!

Michelle Malkin has more, including great letters from the dumbbells serving our country.

Betsy has a perspective about Kerry. Plus, she investigates other bad Democrat behavior.

On a related note, Dr. Santy proposes how to win, even when you lose. The Democrats and Press are employing the full court press. Will it work?

UPDATE: For those who think that Kerry's babbling was a "little nothing", Glenn Reynolds has more of a round-up. You know, the longer I think about it, the angrier I get. The man has absolutely no shame. The thing is, he's not alone in his opinion that anyone deciding to be a soldier is an uneducated hayseed deluded by some misplaced American sentimentalism.

That's really it, isn't it? America isn't worth fighting for, those over in Iraq aren't fighting for America's interests, if only everyone was as smart as me (John F. Kerry), we'd be a socialist nation like France trying to stop "youths" from burning the suburbs--at least we'd have paid paternity leave and six weeks of paid vacation. Oh, and we'd speak French. Je suis tres intelligente, tu es tres stupide les Etas Unis.

While most Democrats were convinced, CONVINCED!, that the Republicans would not vote Republican because they're hate-filled homophobes so repulsed by Mark Foley's ill-advised IMs, what they miss is the real offensive stench in Washington: a whole political class who put politics and power before everything. They put it before principle (I thought they loved gay people), before family (callously calling out Cheney's daughter), before Country (undermining the war and the soldiers). They have no shame and no conscience.

The moderate, conservative Democrats are crying tonight. They don't deserve a vote and here's why: Democratic leaders like John Kerry would ostensibly lead our country if enough of the conservative Democrats win. A little advice for guys like Ford: move to another state and become a Republican. You'll get in and you'll make a positive difference.

UPDATED II: LaShawn Barber thinks this is much ado about nothing. She stands by her words, which are these:

Think about it, people. Do you really believe that John Kerry, a war veteran, thinks American troops are dumb or would say so publicly during a war in the midst of an election cycle? When I first heard about his remarks, I knew instinctively that he couldn’t have meant that. And I can’t stand the man!

Calm down. Get a grip. Take a pill. Blog about something that makes sense. Kerry’s mangled remarks aren’t worth it, in my view. So you rally your readers against him and enjoy the thrill of yet another blog swarm. But it’s based on nothing.

Are there any voices of reason on the Right???

Well, I stand by mine. I see her point. I just respectfully disagree. No one gave Mel Gibson a moments peace when he uttered offensive words under the influence of serious liquor. Rightly so. The reason? "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Had Gibson not made a film where people suspected he was anti-semitic he might have received more leeway, but many people feel that his words revealed his true feelings on the matter. Likewise, Kerry has undermined the soldiers multiple times over the years. Lots of people have a sneaking suspicion that he not only dislikes America's presence in Iraq, he dislikes soldiers no matter what the war.

I heard the remarks, too, and realized Kerry was trying in his dopey way to make a joke. He thought it would play well with a friendly crowd. Even the remark he was supposed to say is offensive:

“I can’t overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.”

Enough already! Enough bashing the President and the half of the country who voted for him. Enough of bashing the military who supports the President. Enough! I think Kerry's ad-lib was exactly what he intended to say.

Either way, I agree with LaShawn on this: He needs to apologize and if he had quickly said, "It was a gaffe and stupid" it would have died faster. Also, if the press had given this the same attention to Kerry, it gives Republican's verbal missteps, maybe people would dismiss it as "nothing". Given the hostile environment these days, the imbalance in media, it makes for the imbalanced reactions LaShawn sees in the comments at her blog.

Sudan: The Conflict is Almost Over

Sudan: 200,000 dead. 2.5 million displaced. Sudan is a mess and the powers that be are serious this time: stop or else! Once the Christians are dead, the conflict will end. The cause of the conflict is their existence.

Bush spoke to reporters after meeting with Andrew Natsios, the United States' special envoy to Sudan. Bush said Natsios delivered a "grim report about the human condition" in Darfur after a 10-day trip to the area.

"The government of Sudan must understand that we're serious, when you deliver a message to them on behalf of our government, that we're earnest and serious about their necessity to step up and work with the international community," the president said.

The U.N. is such a nice cover for all moral timidity. Does Bush lack the will to put a dog in this fight? Is he afraid of being accused of making a war against Muslims? Or, is he just okay with genocide as long as it's Christians dying?

Honestly, I don't get it. This has to stop.

Pilots, Surgeons & Human Error

Over 100,000 people die per year in hospitals due to human error. People make mistakes. Tired people make mistakes. People who won't listen to valuable input make mistakes. People who don't recheck their work make mistakes.

Mistakes happen in all professions, but when the potential result of a decision is death, mistakes cannot be tolerated. Period.

Pilots know this, obviously. They care for hundreds of people each day. They have found ways to minimize mistakes and now teach doctors in hospitals what they know.

“The culture in the operating room has always been the surgeon as the captain at the controls with a crew of anesthesiologists, nurses and techs hinting at problems and hoping they will be addressed,” Dr. Smith said. “We need to change the culture so communication is more organized, regimented and collaborative, like what you find now in the cockpit of an airplane.”
This will be easier said than done. While the military churns out future pilots, with pilots used to a top-down, yet collaborative approach, doctors are lone guns in a sea of sycophants. Taking on the doctor, surgeon, or whoever is in charge earns the challenger future scorn. One doctor questioning another doctor's decisions? Hahaha! Doesn't happen, except in the most egregious cases.

Let me give just one tiny example that probably happens multiple times a day in multiple hospitals nationwide. While with my preemie sons at a well-respected Children's hospital, I saw a surgeon about to examine a patient whose abdomen was open (he was born with double organs and his abdomen never closed). No one, not the other doctors (some 3rd year residents, some fellows), not the nurses, no one was saying anything. I told the nurse, if she didn't stop him I would. The lazy doctor was stopped.

There are many things that must change to prevent these episodes. Hospitals must break down the worshipful hierarchy. Doctors must give underlings permission to contribute. Doctors and staff must be held responsible for negligence by the system. Between happy experiences and lawsuits, a lot of bad things happen that get swept under the rug. Transparency must be expected. Another example: a friend was admitted to the hospital for severe dehydration secondary to an intestinal infection. The admitting physician was nowhere to be found. Her personal physician visited once a day. Who was in charge of her discharge? What was the plan? When do you call for a specialist? The (thankfully) conscious patient didn't know what to do. This unfortunate episode happened on the weekend--when all bad things happen at hospitals. Some ONE must be responsible for the patient's care.

Technology must be embraced. Every time a patient is interacted with, a health care worker should scan a device. Recommendations, drug choices must be scanned so that the results are type face instead of hand-written. All prescriptions should be computerized so an adult dose doesn't end up in a child. Or, like my sons, two doses of a med get put in one son and the other son gets none of the med. Happened, and was very likely implicated partially in my one son's death. And no, we didn't sue. Most people don't.

A doctor's success and failure statistics must be made public. There are bad and good doctors. There should only be great and good doctors. Anything less means harm is done.

Each of these decisions strike fear into participants at every level of the system (except for the patient). Doing this will result in more mistakes being revealed. Doctors will fear (and all do) more lawsuits. Tough nuts. Change is always uncomfortable. Once the changes are made, better information will back up the doctors.

Most importantly, patients won't be dying in catastrophic numbers.

Forcing Food into Kids

How do you think a doctor concerned about health will come down on this issue? You might be surprised. First, the article from the Washington Post:

For Emily M. DeSantis, the battle lines were drawn over meatloaf and stuffed green peppers. "My mom would not let me leave the table until I had tried a bit of whatever gross thing she was making," DeSantis noted in a recent e-mail. "So I fell asleep at bedtime in my chair more than a few times."

As an adult, DeSantis tries to even the score: When she dines out with her mother, she chooses a sushi restaurant. "My mother despises it and I love it," DeSantis notes. "I feel I deserve revenge for all that meatloaf."

Epic tales of food struggles between parents who want their kids to eat healthfully and children who want to exert their independence are familiar to Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, who studies adolescent eating at the University of Minnesota. "I hear many, many stories like these," she says.

Here is my advice: don't make food a struggle and keep healthy food available. How to do this? If a child loathes eggs (like I did), don't force them. There are other forms of protein available, choose them. Arbitrary rules that make chicken for lunch or steak only for dinner or cereal only for breakfast, can make getting good nutrition into a kid difficult.

Another piece of advice: I keep a full bowls of fruit around the house. Anyone, my children, a guest, whoever, can grab what they want. This inhibits the junk food pilfering. We also keep junk food in the house. I know, horrors! But have you seen the children who are deprived of this sort of thing when they go to someone else's home? They're like starved scavengers.

In fact, some family members (who shall not be named) would go to the local store, buy junk food and sneak it into the house. This makes for fat, guilty kids. The food is associated with shame. Parents, do you really want to make this connection for your children?

I also know parents who purposefully keep the kitchen bare--as if that will ensure skinny kids. No, that will ensure hungry kids who will likely overeat in the presence of food.

I also know parents who limit portions--as if that will ensure skinny kids. Children, who don't have health or psychological problems, eat when they're hungry. So some weeks a toddler can eat like a lumberjack and then seem to survive on crumbs the following weeks. It's amazing that they survive, but they do survive.

So, ease up on the food Nazi bit and make healthy, yummy (carob is NOT yummy, neither is squash) food around. Save the wars for just saying "no" to drugs and cigarettes. Now, winning that war is non-negotiable. Hold your parental fire for those battles.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Duke Rape & Demented Witnesses--UPDATED

This case is insane in the membrane. The families of the accused, heck the accused, must feel like they are living in a parallel universe. What the hell?

I'm no lawyer, but is there such a thing as summary judgment, or can the judge thrown this case out? This case already makes the O.J. case look positively temperate.

If this case interests you (and who isn't interested?), you need to bookmark K.C. Johnson's site (CORRECTION: is Durham in Wonderland), Liestoppers is another site altogether, one that I have referenced before. KC Johnson is working, without pay, as a reporter. His reporting puts the MSM to shame. It is accurate. It's up-to-date and gives huge amounts of background. Please visit both Liestoppers and Durham in Wonderland for up-to-the-minute news.

My question about Kim, the other stripper at the Lacrosse party: What the heck is she doin' yammering her way across America? Doesn't she have a lawyer? Is she being paid by someone? (Update: Obviously, I know she has a lawyer. And I have read her comments in the press. What I don't understand is why she is talking so much.)

Whitney Houston

Seeing Whitney Houston looking back like herself after all the years of self-destruction and sorrow is very hopeful. What a talented woman. It was disheartening to see her follow the sad path that far too many women travel. Clive Davis promises a great new album. I look forward to it! She's a young woman with the rest of her life ahead of her.

A toast to second chances!

Pill Causes Breast Cancer

Speaking of the Pill, this meta-analysis shows a HUGE increase in pre-menopausal breast cancer in women who use the pill before their first child. My comments in Red:

A meta-analysis published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings indicts oral contraceptives as putting premenopausal women at significantly increased risk for breast cancer, especially women who use them prior to having a child. Who doesn't use the Pill before having kids? That's when a woman uses the Pill.

The meta-analysis builds on many studies with similar findings. But even as the findings stack up, many women are unaware (because Doctors out-right tell patients that there is NO RISK. You wouldn't believe the number of women we see on the Pill who have headaches[a contraindication], a family history of heart disease [a contraindication], high blood pressure [a contraindication]. )of the risks posed by oral contraceptive use prior to pregnancy, says lead study author Chris Kahlenborn, M.D., of Altoona Hospital in Altoona, Pa.

Dr. Kahlenborn says the discrepancy between risk and patient awareness prompted the meta-analysis, which involved extracting data from 34 studies on whether oral contraceptive (OC) use is associated with premenopausal breast cancer. Included in the studies were women who were premenopausal or younger than 50 and who had been, in most cases, diagnosed with breast cancer during or after 1980.

"As I studied the medical literature, I noticed that a trend appeared," says Dr. Kahlenborn. "Namely, OC use prior to first-term pregnancy seemed to consistently increase the risk of premenopausal breast cancer. Although the trend was apparent, premenopausal women have continued to hear that OCs are basically safe."(Again, this is the accepted medical dogma. Find me one, ONE, ob/gyn who lays out this risk to women.)

Rather, patients should know that sustained oral contraceptive use prior to pregnancy increases a premenopausal woman's risk of developing breast cancer, says Dr. Kahlenborn. He says physicians should better inform their patients of the risks associated with oral contraceptives and calls it a "clear-cut informed consent issue." (Yes it is, but doctor won't tell patients this information because it is politically incorrect to say anything. They view a woman on the Pill as the lesser of the evils, even when unattached women have increased risks of STDs and other long-term problems with Pill usage.)

The study noted that 21 out of 23 retrospective studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer in women who took oral contraceptives prior to pregnancy. It also showed that those women experienced an increased risk of 44 percent. (44%--can you imagine if it was found that carrots increased the risk of blindness 44%. What would doctors say?)

What's more, in 2005, the World Health Organization officially classified oral contraceptives as a class one carcinogen, the study's authors say.

These are staggering results given that more that more than 45,000 women each year develop breast cancer prior to menopause, Dr. Kahlenborn says.

"My hope is that physicians will provide more detailed information to their patients about hormonal contraceptives," he says. "The authors of our meta-analysis believe that women deserve to be fully informed."

Finally, have you seen this information in the news? No? Why not? Well, The Pill enjoys cult status among the sexual liberation set. Feminists view the Pill as the great equalizer. I'll grant that the Pill has probably been the most significant factor in our cultural change, I vehemently disagree that is a good thing. When the illusion of "controlled" sexuality became the defacto dogma, many things happened:
  1. Unprotected sex increased the spread of STDs
  2. An increase in out-of-wedlock births because of the reliance on an unreliable contraceptive
  3. An increase in abortion--again for those "surprise" births
  4. The expectation that a man would not have to support a woman who got pregnant. Her birth control didn't work. She didn't take precautions. She should get an abortion.
  5. Lower birth rates. The birthrate in the United States has diminished, and it is being buoyed by Mormans and Mexicans. That's great. And all the narcissistic Boomers will be glad that at least someone is procreating to keep them in the style they're accustomed to.
  6. Disease. Heart disease. High blood pressure. Migraines. Emotional imbalance. And now breast cancer. The Pill trades transient pleasure for long-term pain.
The fact that Ob/Gyns still push these things as if they are actually good for young women is just wrong. The same goes for recommending condoms when they don't prevent HPV infections and women end up sterile because of latent infections. Sure, there is a vaccine now, but that can do nothing for the thousands of women who have already suffered with cervical cancer and infertility.

The Sexual Revolution was a joke. Ultimately the biggest losers are women. A woman is often in the unfortunate position of "choosing", lucky her--she gets to choose!--single parenthood or an abortion. She gets the nasty surprise of a devastating STD's effects years down the road in the form of scarring--sorry, no children the natural way for you, honey. You've been liberated! And I haven't even mentioned AIDs. Have we forgotten the ravages of that disease? Seems like far too many have forgotten--to their own destruction.

Parents are not wrong to scare the hell out of their hormonal teenagers. The possible outcome of indiscriminate sex are scary, heart-breaking and can be lethal. The only sensible recommendation is for doctors and parents is to tell their kids to abstain before marriage and marry someone as circumspect as you have been. Of course, that recommendation is tough to make when you've been promiscuous yourself. You know what? All parents are hypocrites. Tell them anyway.

It is also a tough recommendation to follow. I can guarantee you: STDs, abortion, single-parenthood, AIDs, and cancer are tougher. The physical consequences of a little pleasure last for such a long time. The psychological and spiritual consequences can be even more devastating.

"Sperm Busting Male Pill"

My favorite headline to describe the male pill that's in the works comes from Australia. Reminds me of the "bunker busting" bombs. Very manly sounding--"sperm busting." So far, no long term side-effects.

This is very good news. Men have a less sensitive system than women--it just doesn't change as much throughout the cycle. I'm wonder though, what if a "half-busted" sperm makes it out of the gates and into the egg? Is it possible? Will it make a mutant?

Those would be my questions, anyway.

Bill Cosby Dishing Out Tongue Lashings

Well, some people aren't happy about the Cos' getting all accusatory and whatnot, but it seems to me that it is time that the hoary heads of the world start lecturing the younguns--unless you think they're the problem to begin with.

Gizmodo: "Who Needs to Retire, When You Can Grow Senile in Front of a Telly Like This?"

Good question. Answer it here.

Religion in Politics

I might live in Texas, but I'm a Mid-Westerner by birth. Growing up, we didn't talk about religion much. In fact, the two religious conversations I had in High School were with evangelicals intent on damning everyone to hell who "hadn't accepted Jesus in their hearts". As a non-evangelical, yet quiet, Christian, I politely disagreed. Okay, not so politely. One girl who asked me, "Are you saved?" got the response, "From what?" That cheeky comment earned me a you-can't-save-'em-all sigh and withering look.

In Michigan, religion just didn't come up in polite conversation. Everything, including God, is bigger in Texas. In Texas, we've been asked, before treating patients, "Have you accepted Jesus?" This question irks me. Does it matter? I mean, good grief, if the world's best brain surgeon was a fire-breathing Atheist (okay, morose, nihilistic Atheist, but you know what I mean) would you refrain from the surgery for religious reasons? That's just stupid. Ditto sexual orientation. Ditto political orientation.

When it comes to politicians, I don't want to hear about whether they fear or love Jesus. Shut up, you! The best Christians walk the walk, and let their walk display their beliefs. So now, Harold Ford Jr. is babbling about his relationship with Je-zusss. Yuck. He is talking about how Republican's fear the Lord, they don't combine their fear and their love. Oh, please. Now he's a theologian and sociology scholar deconstructing Republican's views on God?

I voted for Bush. Twice. Don't apologize for it. Don't care that he's a born-again Christian. When he said that his favorite philosopher was Jesus, I inwardly groaned. First, I don't really consider Jesus a philosopher, but I get what he meant. Second, the idiot reporter was obviously trying to trap Bush and make him look stupid. See, this guy's never read a book in his life. He thinks Plato is something you make spaghetti hair with. Huh-huh. Huh-huh.

Obviously, the aforementioned politicians believe that their religious beliefs get them votes. Let me rephrase that. These politicians believe that talking religion or acting religious gets them votes. Note Hillary's boldly displayed cross (puh-leeze). Note Ford's waxing elephant about Jesus.

All I'm saying, and this might be a Mid-Western thing, is that I distrust people who have to tell me how religious they are--politician, friend or anyone else, for that matter. I'm still not all that comfortable with people saying "Jesus this" or "Jesus that", like he's sitting at the next table drinking a mocha latte. My concern in America today is that people "have the form of godliness but deny its power."

I'm interested in substance. If you're gonna talk, politicians, tell me what your plans are when you get to the Senate. If Jesus ain't your co-pilot, we'll see soon enough.


And for your information, here's the rest of the quote from 2 Timothy 3:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Is there a better description of America today?

Cell Phones

Hi all, in the midst of a world gone mad, today I ponder the mundane: cell phones. My Sprint contract expires in November and my phone is a modern mechanical messed up marvel. I need a new one and I need help.

I want, yea, verily have lusted for lo, these two years, one of these. Should I buy it for the low, low price of $49.95 with a Cingular contract?

Women Make the Decisions: Why Not Ask Them What They Want?

For all the progress of the Women's Movement, only in the last few years have marketers, retailers and designers taken a woman's opinion into account. For example, and this problem has yet to be resolved, washers and dryers are ridiculous. They make you bend over and lug stuff out. They make you bend over and load things in. The laundry soap is high up on a shelf that one must navigate around the machines to get. It is a ergonomic nightmare.

If the washer and dryer manufacturers had just asked me, they'd make a boat load more money. Also, since we're on the topic, make washers simpler, so children can use them. I'm trying to raise responsible kids, but they couldn't do their own laundry if I wanted them to, they are too short.

Well, we've come a long way baby, the world is waking up to woman power since women drive 80% of purchases. Now, they not only control the family's pocketbook, they control their own. Finally, the world takes notice.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Men Literally Feminized

Testosterone levels drop among all American men according to the latest research. Some people will rejoice at this news. Others, will get all weepy and call their massage therapists.

It's the literal neuterization people. You heard about it here first.

Nuclear Bunkers Back in Vogue

You know, I'm just wondering if it isn't time to explore nuclear bunkers here in the United States. They are doing it in Israel:

AMID mounting fears that Iran is planning to obliterate their country, wealthy Israelis are shelling out on underground nuclear shelters in the gardens of their luxury homes.

The shelters, which cost at least £60,000 for a bargain-basement version, are built to withstand radioactive fallout, have fortified walls and doors and generate their own electricity and decontaminated air. Defence experts estimate that hundreds of such bunkers, many fitted with all modern conveniences such as bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, have already been built in private homes across the country and demand is soaring.

I'm reading the book Standing with Israel by David Brog, and he notes a Netherlands (I think) family who saved over 700 Jews by building a safe room, escape in their house years before Hitler rose to power. Actually the future Furer was sitting in a prison cell, but this family saw the writing on the wall. They paid for their foresight with their lives when they were finally caught, but before then, they saved many lives.

The Mormons, members of the Church of Latter Day Saints (they oppose the term "Mormons", but it is a description most people recognize), plan for a dire future in a myriad of ways--stocked up food, survivalist training, etc.

After the hurricanes, it became patently obvious to me that my family is soft. We don't hunt. We don't have survival equipment. We don't have much of anything that would save our hide in a time of need.

The time to have flood insurance isn't when a flood comes. The time to have flood insurance is before hand. The Israelis rightly distrust their government's ability to protect them. Can we Americans trust our government? I think we're better served if we don't.

So, when do we build the bunker?

Seasonal Affect Disorder

Hi, my name is Melissa and I'm S.A.D. To some of you, that won't be ground-breaking news. I have always suffered with Seasonal Affect Disorder. Being a former Michigander, I suffered. A lot. The darkness, the gray, the sludge and snow, the shortened days that last for months in Michigan made for a miserable me.

When I moved to California, it was absolutely stunning to see the sun shine so consistently. I would marvel to friends, "Doesn't it seem weird that it never rains? No wonder people are so weird out here." After a year, it didn't seem weird. It seemed wonderful. Still, I'd have a couple days of sadness around February sun or rain.

Dr. Helen reports her suffering with S.A.D. She asks if everyone even believes it's a real thing. Psychosomatic or not, the feelings are real. Some people at her blog recommend a complicated array of lighting--especially first thing in the morning.

The best recommendation, one that I concur with, is taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Plus, those will help Dr. Helen's weak heart. Omega-3s are fish oils and are especially rich in Sushi. As a Sushi lover, that's good news. Or, for those who like to take their medicine straight: two tablespoons of cod liver oil, morning and night, should do the trick. They have some now that doesn't taste so bad.

How do you know if you're low in Omega-3s? One way: you easily burn in the summer sun (never getting a tan, going straight to red). Another way, you suffer with cramping around your period and during athletic endeavors.

Get in the sunshine, get your Omega 3s, surround yourself with light--especially first thing in the morning and move South (hey, it worked for me). S.A.D. solved!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hung by the Polls

A few weeks ago, while listening to the blather and reading the drivel about how the Democrats were twenty points up everywhere, I thought to myself, "Self, these polls are bogus. The press is one big Democratic machine." The Democrats were going to win, Win, WIN blared the talking heads! I hate the press.

Then the Foley thing happened and I hated the press worse. A little-known Republican closeted gay dude gets outed by people who love gay people--as opposed to Republicans who hate gay people--for sending smarmy emails to pages. Yuck and puhleeze.

Then, wonder of wonders, polls started tightening up. Who are these pollsters calling? Are they even reaching likely Republican voters? Voters like me don't answer the phone from unknown phone numbers. Heck, my friends get p.o.'d 'cuz I don't answer the phone from known numbers.

My brother says that people answering the phones and saying "Ahm uh Democrat" will say anything, complain and then not manage the energy to actually go to the poll and vote. Conversely, I say, that while Republicans might not answer the phones, they actually vote.

This election will make one thing clear: the Pollsters are full of crap and should be ignored.

Or, some people think the Democrats are so confident because they have a massive voter fraud scheme cooked up. We'll see.

Lorie Byrd Advice to Speaker of the House Hopeful Pelosi

What would the Democrats do without the MSM? What if, (big breath) the press were actually fair and balanced?

Lorie Byrd (courtesy The Anchoress) talks about the climate in the dramatic week before the election.

Before you go over there, here's my prediction: the Republicans hold the House and Senate, barely.

Flu Vaccine Worthless

This research is getting less press than one would expect given the hysteria over the Flu (and I'm not even talking about Avian Flu). Many people pin their hopes on the flu vaccine which is based on the previous year's virus. It is next to worthless unless you're a hermit and never interact with people who have been sick with the flu the year before, in which case it's totally worthless, because, well, you're a hermit. See here:

Each vaccine contains three influenza viruses-one A (H3N2) virus, one A (H1N1) virus, and one B virus. The viruses in the vaccine change each year based on international surveillance and scientists' estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year.

I love estimations. They're so like, totally accurate, ya know? Just like all those hurricanes we've had in 2006 that were estimated by scientists.

With the amount of money, pr, fear, and energy invested in the flu vaccine, one would investigate, thoroughly, the benefits, right? Right.

Dude, Looks Like a Lady's in the Loo-Updated

Gotta love New York! I sure do love the city, but this week, a more absurd (yet perfectly rational when you think about it) ruling was made in favor of dudes wearing dresses going to the girls bathroom.

Porn website owners everywhere rejoice. Now, there's no need to sneak into a woman's bathroom for the up-the-skirt and potty shots, they'll just dress like women a waltz right in and take care of "business".

Dan Collins guest posting, permanently I think, for Jeff Goldstein says:

It’s unclear just how the writer’s elision of transgender with “gender expression” is supposed to connect with the instance in question. I guess that in practical terms, one is welcome to use that lavatory that matches the clothing they’re wearing, which brings up a lot of questions, not least about security. And by forcing everyone to go to Transgender Sensitivity Training, I’m sure that the guy person’s made himself very popular with his co-workers.
He brings up a good point about bringing a daughter into the ladies room. The ladies' room has been a under-appreciated haven, evidently. I still bring my son in there. Ain't no way I'm letting him go into the men's bathroom by himself. If women give me a dirty look (they never do, by the way) that can kiss my rear.

Maybe, in New York, all weirdness will happen in the women's bathroom now and the men's room will be the "safe" bathroom. Ugh. How far can we go in political correctness? Is it possible to go farther?

How about this delineation? I know, it's archaic and simple, but hey, I really like simple solutions ala Occam: if you own a penis and you're not attended by your mother, it's the men's room. If you own a vagina and you're not attended by your father, it's the lady's room.

Update: After more thought, here is my big issue with issues like this: the United States is a remarkably tolerant place. Minority rights are protected. I'm just thinking off the top of my head here, but here are some instances of minority right protection:
  • Amish
  • Conscientious objector status
  • Freedom of religion--Dearborn, Michigan now has public prayer calls for Muslims
  • Americans with Disabilities
These are just three, there are many more. You know, though, our society survives on a certain amount of shared ethos. The majority indulges the minority because of a notion of freedom and fairness.

The majority might just push back when the indulgences of the minority become tyrannical to the majority. Ridiculous lawsuits like the above make people less inclined to bend for any minorities.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Molestation: Stealing Someone's Soul, Restoration: Recovering It--UPDATED

Update: Thank you Anchoress for your kind words. I'm glad you decided to write about your experience. One of the travesties of justice is that a woman or man cannot speak publicly about her or his experience for fear of being sued by the perpetrator for defamation of character. Many women remember molestation experiences as adults, especially when they go through pregnancy and childbirth. Other women stay silent to protect their current family from the spectacle of a court case.

If the truth does come out, people quite ignorantly ask, "How come you never said anything before." These people obviously don't understand the tyranny of molestation, the shame that binds the victim and the psychological defenses that cause a victim to "try to forget". To understand more about that, doctors are trying to find ways to help the elderly who experienced the Holocaust and WWII deal with their formerly suppressed memories as they are causing these poor people untold grief as their defenses break down in old age. Far too many women and men must deal with their own personal war stories in private. The Anchoress' post gives people the courage to share their stories, and hopefully, find a path to healing.

Also, dear visitors, you must be extraordinary people in your own right, if you're reading The Anchoress every day. I hope you'll enjoy what you see here. Please bookmark my page and visit again, often. You might like some other posts here from the past and present: this one is about Religion in Politics, this post is Gender Neuterization. Thank you again, for visiting.


I'm not sure, but I think it was M. Scott Peck's book People of the Lie, where he talked about the Native American (I forget which tribe) notion of "soul stealers". Soul Stealers are people who were denied something in their childhood and rather than being filled up by God, seek other souls, often their child's, to devour to try to find wholeness.

Can there be a better description of a parent molesting a child and stealing her innocence? Rather than make his own light or allow God's light to shine in him, the Soul Stealer tries to get it the easy way: by dominating and taking the light by force. Light stolen is light extinguished.

The Anchoress posted about her interaction with her soul stealing father:

Either way, his somnolent tears would induce my sympathy, and looking back on it, I am glad to realize I could - even then - feel sympathy for my father, even as I cringed in my corner. It tells me that despite all the things he took, he never fully had me, he never possessed me at my core, where grace did still abide.

It's hard to imagine wanting someone's soul. It's harder still to imagine a parent taking it from their own child, but it happens far too often.

There have been so many abused people come through our practice, I had the impression early on, that child molestation at the hands of a deranged parent or step-parent or grand father or uncle, was an American pastime. I'm still not sure if it's an American thing, our particular practice, or that people self-select to come to a health care worker to help them get rid of the somaticized pain. It could be all of the above or none of the above.

The people who really heal from these abuses, invariably turn to a Higher Power to fill the space by the fallen power who failed them. Siggy says this about The Anchoress' walk:
In a way, her relationship with God is also substitute for the relationship with her biological father. That is not necessarily a bad thing. The Anchoress' relationship with God is more intimate than the relationship with God has with most believers. Most believers relate to the majesty of God- The Anchoress also relates equally to an intimate God, the kind of relationship a child has with a parent. She has developed this relationship in it's nuance, sublimity and boundaries. She is comfortable with God more than she is awed by God. She doesn't see that of course. The Anchoress is ever the dutiful daughter of God, not realizing that His countenance radiates from her.
What a grand and fitting compliment to The Anchoress by Siggy. I agree. She is a testament to the power of God to transform a life and continues:
Creatures, behold your Creator: He doesn’t beckon with a kingly nod, with silence and guards and gravity. He comes as a child, lying in a manger - in the very thing the animals eat from - and He offers you Himself for your own food, your own nourishment and strength. We are loved into being by One who is All Good. Flickers from hell may singe and scar, but they will never consume us. Be not disconcerted.
A blogger who linked to The Anchoress who I have never read before, K-Dad, laments men who put lusts before God. He says this, first:
When you love something more than God, it's idolatry. My passion for ideas is “idea-olatry.” I always said I "loved" ideas, but that was a mistake. It is lust that makes us do what God forbids, not love. That lust hurt my children, and messed up our homeschool. Throughout those years, I would have said that I was “teaching my children” when I talked to them about my latest thoughts—but now I can see that I was serving my idol, and dragging them into idol-worship with me.
He talks, from a very male perspective (duh, but I bring attention to this because I'm always fascinated when I talk to my husband or read pieces like this describing the hunger in a man, that drive. When applied correctly is awesome to behold, but when misapplied.....watch out) about lust:
A father's lust is a terrible thing, whether it is a lust for ideas, sports, "success," or sex. It scares me to think how many fathers think they are "loving" their children when they drag them to the idol that they serve. This gets scariest (and clearest) when the thing that makes us disobey God is sex.
"A father's lust is a terrible thing..." I think of the word terrible in the context of dreadful or formidable. It is formidable. That is why when that energy is poured into love of God and family, a man is an equally constructive (rather than destructive) force of nature. This drive ensures survival of the species, protects hearth and home, is self-sacrificial and productive.

Just like a mother's love reveals one aspect of God, a father's love reveals another aspect of God. That is why when a parent abuses their position of authority in the home it is an utter abomination. Jesus said this about anyone who causes a child to sin (Matthew 18:1-14):
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!
Of course, Jesus isn't just talking a literal child, but children in the faith. To see a child's faith and belief ebb away in a sea of confusion and mistrust is heartbreaking. A child is built to believe. A child is born to faith.

Life's trauma's at the hands of "the one through whom they come", steal the belief and faith. Only God can restore a person's faith. Only through the Living Father of Life can we be born again.

Some people, I know some, who never had a faith crisis. They traveled safely from childhood to adulthood without having a significant part of their soul stolen. They are blessed. Others must travel through the valley of the shadow of death, come out the other side, and believe again. They must be restored. Still others must touch Christ's wounds themselves to believe.

No matter a person's walk, faith is complex, soul-satisfying and renewing. It is also a burden--a light burden, mind you, but a burden none the less. Struggling to make sense of a stolen past, wrestling like Jacob to be blessed by God, wanting to believe and having moments of fearful faithless narcissism like Elijah, I'm reminded of the a passionate loving father's words to Christ when he asked for his son to be healed of convulsions that left him deaf and mute: "I believe! help my unbelief!"

The only way to satisfy and fill a soul that has been robbed is to turn to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. And believe.


For those who have experienced this particular soul stealing, please seek help. The unresolved emptiness in your life, left unhealed, can result in inadvertent soul-stealing. When a chasm that huge is left in a soul like is left from an abusive parent, people often have marriage problems or other relational problems. Why? The answer is quite simple really. We all hope to find the one person who will fill up the emptiness, but no person can do this for another no matter how hard he or she tries. Ultimately God heals and a person must choose happiness for him or herself.

Once on the path to healing, the energy shifts from taking from those around you to giving to those around you, and wonder of wonders, you receive more than you ever imagined before when you sought to fill that need by taking. So much of transcendence is a paradox.

Anyway, the Catholics have this right: confession is good for the soul. Find a trusted counselor, confess, and start again.

Another thing, those who have experienced molestation often walk into relationships clueless as to how to make them work. It is really a matter of learning the rules again. We absorb the rules for relationships through our parents, but when the learning has been so corrupted, it takes active training, practice and dedication to do things a different way.

Give yourself every chance to succeed in the life you live today.

Now, In Contrast to the Dixie Chicks....

We have Beccy Cole who sings in honor of Australia's diggers and the fighting men in uniform courtesy Black Five via Gaius via Siggy. Amazing! Please, please go listen to her song. It made me cry.

Where are the artists? Where is the gratitude for those fighting for the rights we enjoy. The true idealists wear uniforms. The poseurs mock the President. Gaius says:

Getting a rash from the endless screeching coming from the Dixie Chicks? Exhausted by their endless whining about being silenced? Which they deliver on television, in a new movie and in endless cover stories in magazines? Ready to puke at the stupidity of people who cannot understand the difference between free speech and the consequences of their own actions in alienating the people who they expect to buy their product?

Pardon These Men

I haven't seen much in the news about this, but two border patrol agents have been sentenced to over ten years in prison for shooting a drug smuggler in the butt who was trying to escape. They were convicted by a jury and the chief witness? The drug dealer granted immunity.

WASHINGTON – Congressmen concerned about the convictions and stiff prison sentences of two Border Patrol agents who injured a Mexican drug dealer they were pursuing say Homeland Security officials told them the pair were "out to shoot Mexicans."

The White House and federal officials have been getting heat for offering the drug dealer immunity to testify against the two lawmen -- Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean – both of whom are Mexican-Americans.

Former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos embraced his wife, Monica Ramos, two days before he was sentenced to 11 years in prison (Courtesy El Paso Times)

The agents were convicted in March of shooting admitted drug smuggler Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks as he ran away from them near the Rio Grande River in February 2005. Ramos and Compean were sentenced last week to 11 and 12 years, respectively.

Reproductive Determinism

The Anchoress discusses Mark Steyn's book America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It which sits next to me as I type this and can be found through linkage at right on my "bookshelf". (This was one of the books I was supposed to receive before my cruising, but I digress.) The inside front flap blurb says in part, "The future, as Steyn shows, belongs to the fecund and the confident."

Anyway, The Anchoress points to this Human Events interview with Steyn about the "Threat of Islam". He says humorously:

Well, the publicist is a genius because that is the kind of endorsement you can’t get. I don’t know how he got a copy to President Ahmadinejad but I’m glad that the president of Iran has digested the main lesson, which is, if you don’t have people, you can’t have any influence in the world.
His idea is that population, reproduction determines destiny. Civilizations rise and fall on numbers. The Anchoress notes further:

The Brussels Journal piece ends thusly: “If faith collapses, civilization goes with it,” says [Tom] Bethell. That is the real cause of the closing of civilization in Europe. Islamization is simply the consequence. The very word Islam means “submission” and the secularists have submitted already. Many Europeans have already become Muslims, though they do not realize it or do not want to admit it.

People, particularly the hardline secularists, do not want to admit it but America is going to be forced to play things out on both a secular and supernatural stage, if she is going to stay alive, and not just alive but comprehensively American. Those, like Rosie O’ Donnell, who would lump the Taliban and American Christians into the same boat do not realize that in doing so they are consigning themselves to Europe’s fate. And Europe is dying. Europe will not fight.

I have been giving these ideas some thought. In a world where one nut-job with nuclear rocket launcher (does such a beast exist?) can level a town, why do population numbers matter? Look at what Saddam and his minority minions did in Iraq. The oppressed the majority, easily, I might add.

Editor's Note: Half-way through the post the Tigers game came on, then an Texas storm washed through and all important electronics got turned off (the beloved iMac is included in the "important electronics" category), so I'm just finishing this post today, this afternoon.

Back to the topic at hand. While the aforementioned storm raged, I read about 3/4's of Steyn's book. It's a fast read. I'll finish it tonight, if all goes as planned. Anyway, he has more to say about the fact that Europeans are converting to Islam. Europeans are pretending to be Islamic to be safe (women wearing hijabs--they do solve clothes choosing dilemmas). Europeans are old and philosophically fat and simply haven't got the energy to fight the young, angry masses, says Steyn.

But here is, the most important quote of the book (the first half anyway):
"In a democratic age, you can't buck demography--except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out--as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can't out breed the enemy, cull them."
That, friends, will be Europe's choice. I'm not convinced that Steyn is right about which way Europe will go. The one thing about Europeans, is they are entitled and tend to externalize the blame. And why not? The government is usually the one screwing them because the government is the one controlling so many aspects of their lives. In the past, though, the government while causing the misery, wasn't blamed. Remember who was?

Ah, yes. Europe knows how to get her groove back. She has done it before. The one thing Europeans agree on is this: they are superior in every way to every one. Their secularism, multi-culturalism makes them the smartest people on the globe. While Steyn believes that might be the death of 'em, I think that it will be their rallying cry, ultimately.

Anti-Semitism grows among the discontented youth--and not just the Muslim youths. Far-right parties are making themselves known again. The elites might be fiddling, but should the plebes become frustrated enough and they find a leader who represents them............

So will the barren wombs of "Eutopia" be suicidal? Time will tell. If Europe decides to stay a "Eutopia", most definitely. Culling, though, has been used before. Will it be used to again?

Betsy: The Anatomy of Race Mongering

Isn't everyone tired of the race thing? Easy for you to say, Melissa, you're a dumpy, white, augmented blond, true-blue eyed, American woman. Besides the occasional tune-up by your husband (all men abuse their wives) and being oppressed by the institution of marriage itself (marriage squelches all people and invites the government behind your doors) and birthing children (which is demeaning and undignified and a sell out of your talent and education) and even worse, breastfeeding (ewww, you wrote the words "breast" and "feed" in the same sentence), you are the majority. You don't know from discrimination.

So, as you can see, I'm not qualified and/or equipped to be tired of the "race thing". I don't know Betsy's persuasion, but she gives a nice anatomy of race mongering ala Jesse Jackson:

First you trump up a phony complaint of racism because of a gag in a Republican ad against Harold Ford. Then you get your friends in the media to have a meltdown over it alleging all sorts of racist attacks. Stephen Spruiell has some amazing excerpts from Chris Matthews going bozo over finding racist and ethnic attacks (now they are alleging a subliminal message because there are drums in one Bob Corker ad)in GOP ads, except for Michael Steele whom he praises for being unthreatening in his ads. Matthews likes the Steele ads for being so unthreatening that they're almost "child-like."

After you've softened up the ground with all your allegations of Republican racism then you can expand from politics to some of your other goals. So, Jesse Jackson has jumped in to extend the attack on the RNC anti-Ford ad into an attack on Wal-Mart because someone who works for the agency that created that ad also works on Wal-Mart ads.
Go to her post to read the whole sordid thing.

To be clear, I'm not saying discrimination doesn't exist. It does. It is repugnant. It is close-minded. We diminish true racism, though, by going injustice hunting to try to scare up an issue so we can use the ax we like to grind.

I also believe that discrimination has diminished enough in most places against almost every minority you can name (hearing impaired, different-abled, special, woman, transgendered, gay, lesbian, of color, grayified, please add to the list in the comments), that the focus now should be on merit and performance and ideas.

I like the idea of a nation where children and adults, alike, are judged on "the content of their character." We can't get to that place if we're always focused on the color of the skin, the gender, the age, the victim group we choose to identify with.

Enough, already!

France Intifada

The suburbs of Paris are burning. Do you know about it? Paul Belian of the Brussels Journal shares with Pajama's Media's Washington Editor Richard Miniter possible civil war in France. (Why haven't I bookmarked him yet? Oy!)

Read more here. Watch the video below. I'm including this because this is news you will never see in the MSM.

Via Instapundit

Salon Interview with Camille Paglia

For the life of me, I don't get this woman's devotion to the Democrat party. She must be an optimist, since her list of grievances (and it is long) will likely never change.

She articulates clearly the average American's (who she identifies as small-business owners who dislike the "nanny state") distrust of all things Democrat:

  • No cohesive world-view--simple-mindedness on world geopolitical complexities
  • Willingness to destroy their own ideology for power--Foley
  • Elevating the profane as art
  • Using pseudo-intellectual condescension in the Art realm leading people to believe art is for snobs and the superficial--Warhol PBS Documentary
  • Clinton acting like the "shadow president" and making an ass of himself during the Fox interview with Chris Wallace
  • Press collusion with Democrats over whatever suits them--in this case Foley
  • Hollywood elite showing contempt for people--Barbra Streisand being Exhibit "A"
She paints a fairly accurate and miserable picture. She also rightly identifies the Bush constituency's frustration with border patrol and illegal immigration, the Iraq war, etc. She worries that Bush's locution reveals his inability to think in big ideas.

She sees Nixonian paranoia creeping into Bush's style. This last observation, I must say, seems a stretch. If I were him, I might be paranoid. I've mentioned this before. I'd be paranoid because everyone does seem out to get me--from lies to damn lies to leaks to betrayal--this President has been on the receiving end of scorn and deceit not only from the usual subjects but from his own. It almost boggles the mind. If he's getting a tad testy that would seem rational--not irrational. I do agree with Paglia that this defensive position is not good for America. And I wonder if Bush's fatigue at being incessantly pummeled is why he's going all rubbery on Iraq.

The whole interview is worth a read. I think she pretty well sums up America today. While America will survive non-funding of the arts because liberal elites refuse to involve the unwashed masses in the culture conversation, America won't survive the relentless drive to destruction because of dithering and debating our value as a country.

Perhaps the most important thing that she doesn't mention, is her own party's self-loathing. How to be an intellectual on this world stage and love America? Evidently, holding those two notions simultaneously is too much for a progressive. The elite seem to be willing to trade their love of country for personal aggrandizement--to be loved by the "thinkers" of the world. They show utter ingratitude and a profound lack of perspective for what America is and has given them.

This contempt for America, epitomized by the deluded Dixie Chicks, plays poorly, to say the least. No one believes that America is above criticism. No one believes Bush is above criticism. Paglia herself cites the areas that conservatives differ with their representatives--especially Bush. This sort of anger and resentment is a whole different kettle of fish than artists humiliating the President, bad-mouthing our country on foreign ground, etc.

I would like to see the Democrats get their acts together, but that would mean a total change of perspective--putting the country first over petty personal desires. The Democrats need to "get" that if America ceases to exist, these silly slap-fights won't matter anyway. It's time for the Democrats to grow up and get serious.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Honeybee Genome Human-like

I am not surprised that the Honeybee's genome is the insect that's most like ours (only three insects have been analyzed so far). It is a mythological creature, almost miraculous in it's impact on our lives. Without honeybees....well, we don't want to even contemplate that world.

When compared to other insects, the honey bee genome contains fewer genes involved in innate immunity, detoxification enzymes, and gustatory (taste) receptors, while not surprisingly, it contains more genes for olfactory receptors and novel genes for nectar and pollen utilization. Interestingly, the honey bee genome shows greater similarities to vertebrates than insects for genes involved in circadian rhythm, as well as biological processes involved in turning genes on or off.

Excellent. Maybe this amazing creature will unlock more cures for humans.

From Wikipedia:

The honey bee's primary commercial value is as a pollinator of crops. Orchards and fields have grown larger; at the same time wild pollinators have dwindled. In several areas of the world the pollination shortage is compensated by migratory beekeeping, with beekeepers supplying the hives during the crop bloom and moving them after bloom is complete. In many higher latitude locations it is difficult or impossible to winter over enough bees, or at least to have them ready for early blooming plants, so much of the migration is seasonal, with many hives wintering in warmer climates and moving to follow the bloom to higher latitudes.

As an example, in California, the pollination of almonds occurs in February, early in the growing season, before local hives have built up their populations. Almond orchards require two hives per acre (2,000 m² per hive) for maximum yield and so the pollination is highly dependent upon the importation of hives from warmer climates.

More on honeybees here.

Allahpundit: "Aussie Mufti to women: Stop making us rape you"

Recently, the Washington Post featured three editorials from women enjoying the veil. (Well, at least a two enjoyed it--especially the empty-headed Feminist convert to Islam.) Allah Pundit reminds the clueless, "that veil's there for a reason, darlin":

That veil’s there for a reason, darlin’:

While not specifically referring to the rapes, brutal attacks on four women for which a group of young Lebanese men received long jail sentences, Sheik Hilali said there were women who “sway suggestively” and wore make-up and immodest dress … “and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years”…

In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

“The uncovered meat is the problem.”

The sheik then said: “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”

This is the senior-most Islamic cleric in Australia, mind you. I wonder, how did a member of the tiny minority of extremists rise to such prominence? Are Aussie Muslims disproportionately radical? Doesn’t sound like it — the article notes that his statements were roundly condemned.

Perhaps it’s a simple matter of the tiny minority not being as tiny as we thought. For more of which, spend some time with this. Wow.

And on the furthermost other end of the continuum — double wow

Bible Makes Me Squeamish

Certain Bible passages just seem so old-fashioned and make me uncomfortable. The obvious solution? Get rid of the offending archaic stuff.

Barbara at Tidbits and Treasures says that's what the Dutch are doing:

It seems a Dutch organization wants to take the stress out of reading the Word for contemporary Christians. So, they are literally doing the same thing as the young woman did - removing those parts they feel doesn't apply to us today - or, better still, those parts that they might have a hard time applying to themselves.

That's because those troublesome verses about justice for the poor, responsibility for the rich to address their neighbors' needs, and all that talk about money, are gone. Not just edited out, cut out.

A report from Assist News Service said the Western Bible Foundation published the book to meet the "growing wish of many churches to be market-oriented and more attractive."

The Bible is only available in Dutch for the time being. Hopefully, it will stay there. Parts of the Ten Commandments, Isaiah, Proverbs along with the Sermon on the Mount has been removed. After all, 'it isn't useful for today'.

"Hamas doesn’t appreciate the avian porcine nature of this moment."

Charles at LGF starts in again. I swear the man is funny. He notes pigs flying--France's foreign minister changed his mind about the fence along Israel's border. Hamas is none too happy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Scott Ott's Michael J. Embryo's Commercial

He says:

The ScrappleFace Enterprise Institute, a satirical think-tank which produced the response ad, said an earlier version of the spot showed the baby in the womb moving about, sucking its thumb and appearing to yawn, but that was considered “too emotionally charged.”

“We decided to go with the still photo,” said an unnamed Institute spokesman, “because we didn’t want to beat people over the head with the obvious, or give them false hopes that a cure would be found for abortion.”

The spokesman declined requests for ultrasound interviews with the intra-uterine actor, adding that “he’s not a very public person…at least not at this point.”

German Ship & Israeli F-16's Engage

According to Germany, Israel "opened fire near a German ship".

France and the United Nations this week warned Israel that it was endangering the multinational peace mission in Lebanon by sending its fighter planes into Lebanese airspace.

Germany is heading the naval component of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon but has refused to contribute ground troops in a bid to avoid clashes with Israeli forces because of lingering sensitivities over the Holocaust.

Ugh. Why, oh why did Israel agree to this cease-fire? What a sinkin' mess.

Gay Marriage Legal in New Jersey--UPDATED, Scroll Down

Lambda wins in New Jersey. Lambda's mission:

Lambda Legal carries out its legal work principally through test cases selected for the likelihood of their success in establishing positive legal precedents that will affect lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. From our offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas, Lambda Legal�s staff of attorneys work on a wide range of cases, with our docket averaging over 50 cases at any given time.

Everyone is happy! Glenn Reynolds posts jubilantly:

The opinion allows that something not called "marriage" might be enough, but it pretty clearly leaves open the door to hold otherwise later. And the concurrence/dissent says: "I can find no principled basis, however, on which to distinguish those rights and benefits from the right to the title of marriage, and therefore dissent from the majority’s opinion insofar as it declines to recognize that right among all of the other rights and benefits that will be available to samesex couples in the future."

It thus seems that this isn't really a "third way" approach to gay marriage. This is a clean win for gay marriage advocates.

Brendan Loy (I take back my proposal, Brendan. It might be 40 for you) enthuses:
Also: maybe the Republicans will overplay their hand. If Bull Moose is right that moderates who are sick and tired of divisive partisanship are the key to this election, then transparent GOP harping on this “wedge issue” could actually hurt the Republicans. We can hope, anyway.

I wonder if it would be okay for a hypothetical New Jersey relative to "marry" (civilly unify) another hypothetical relative in order to get health benefits. The one relative is acting as a sort of "wife" and "caregiver". The time has come for us to be tolerant of all lifestyles. We are a close-minded society, intent on imposing our values on others. This must stop!

Hey! Who are you to judge?

Update: Some people aren't happy. Democratic strategists, for example:

"This ruling is the last thing Democratic leaders want," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "Republicans and fundamentalist leaders will say to their flock, 'Go out and save traditional marriage.' The only question is how many seats this will cost the Democrats.

"The irony is that the New Jersey Supreme Court justices guaranteed rights for gays in New Jersey but they helped deprive gays of their rights in a lot of other states. One wonders if they appreciate that irony. The timing of this decision is just unbelievable."

The timing of the decision shouldn't matter. This is a matter of principle. People need to wake up and stand up for what they truly believe and for what is right.

Update II: Lawyer Eugene Volokh says this ruling is evidence of the "slippery slope":
One can condemn this slippery-slope effect, or praise it. (I support same-sex marriages and civil unions as a policy matter (see PDF page 37), but I don't think that state courts should mandate them as a constitutional matter.) But I think that one can't dismiss the possibility that slippery slope effects, good or bad, are indeed present here, and can be present in similar contexts. And this is so even when, as a purely logical matter, the initial steps (employment discrimination bans, domestic partnership laws, hate crimes laws, and the like) are eminently distinguishable from the final step (same-sex civil unions).
From John Hawkins at Right Wing News:
If you want to know why it makes sense to push for Constitutional Amendments designed to block gay marriage on the state and federal level, this case is a perfect example. When you have judges acting in this fashion, like a super legislature that can make any law they wish without regard to what the people or their elected representatives want, you can try to appeal their rulings or stop them by electing conservatives who'll promise to put originalist judges on the bench. However, in cases like this, constitutional amendments are the only effective way to prevent these power mad judges from running roughshod over the wants and desires of the American people.
Ace says this:
By the way... If you think a mere state-constitutional ban against gay marriage protects you from the courts imposing this on you, think again.

Liberal courts have several times invalidated parts of their own state constitutions in finding in favor of liberal policies.

As Nevadans, who had a constitutional provision forbidding tax increases without supermajority legislative support. Not so fast, said the Nevada Supreme Court -- the constitution's preamble says the state will fund education and such, and that means it has to spend money -- a lot more money -- and that invaldiates the specific mandate against raising taxes with anything less than a supermajority. The general, "We the people" preamble trumps the specific constitutional provision in this case.

So-- they ruled you can raise taxes with a mere majority.

In Florida, an initiative passed that would have limited the Supreme Court's desicison to invalidate laws.

But they decided the initiaitive limiting their own power was, wonder of wonders, passed by unconstitutional means, as, they claimed, the public was "misled" about what the iniitiative meant, and didn't fully understand all the great benefits the SCOFLAw provides for them.

Hence-- ruled off the books by a vote of five liberals.

Only liberals could imagine that their own written constitutions are themselves unconstitutional, and they're not afraid to play that absurd trump card when they feel the cause is important enough.

Race Relations on the Blogosphere

Welcome, Dr. Helen readers! Take a look around. Lots of thoughts on the secularization of America here and some thoughts on Stem Cell Research and Politics here. Please bookmark me and come back. Thanks for the visit.

Thank you, too, Anchoress who is suffering so, right now, for the link as well. You are one of my blog heroes! I'm honored by you gracing my blog. (If that sounds like groveling, dear readers, it is. She is perhaps the finest writer on the web. If you don't read her every single day, you're missing out. This week she has been blogging like there is no tomorrow. When life is pelting you with lemons, living today with zest becomes a priority.


Like many Americans, I've been fascinated by the rise of Barak Obama from Chicago, IL. He seems to be a smart, young liberal. Taking into consideration America's past, the presence of successful blacks heartens me. I would love to vote for a Black or Woman or Asian or Hispanic President--when the right one comes along. By "right" I mean a person who represents positions I value.

He is not the reason I went over to read LaShawn Barber today. The reason I went over was, "I haven't read LaShawn in a while, I wonder what she's saying?"

Well, today, LaShawn Barber posts about Obama. She also makes a personal note:

Just my assessment, folks, based in part on life in general and personal experience. For instance, I’ve been called articulate, a word seldom used to describe white bloggers. And as loathe as I am to admit this, my blog’s success is owed in part to my race. I believe and write things most people wouldn’t expect me to believe and write.

If you didn’t know me and saw me walking down the street, you’d guess that I was a typical, Democrat-voting D.C. resident. But when I open my mouth, all previously conceived notions and expectations are thrown out the proverbial window. Being outspoken and atypical is a novelty that draws people in. Being a decent writer who expresses ideas in a way that defies stereotype keeps ‘em coming back.

I'm not sure I agree with her self-assessment. First, I have her on my blog roll, not because she's black, not because she's female, but because she's smart and incisive. I'm always interested to read her takes on racial issues, just like I'm interested in psych bloggers takes on psychological issues or certain women's takes on women issues. But the ties that bind these takes together isn't that they are a certain color, certain sex or a certain profession: These people represent my views philosophically, usually, and often stretching me in different directions a bit, too. They may or may not have a more-informed take because of their life experience.

For example, Helen Smith PhD is a psych blogger who has also experienced a life-threatening heart condition. I might give her ideas on heart patient views more weight. She's been there. Ditto, her views on murderer motivation. It's her job. Even still, I've disagreed with her plenty of times.

Another example, MaxedOutMama is an economist focusing on risk-assessment. I read her because she's smart and knows things I don't in these areas. Again, I've disagreed with her on particulars, but I do feel we share a similar philosophy.

Another example, The Anchoress is a Catholic writer and editor. She is funny, smart and her prose delights. Reading her is like drinking a well-made fruit smoothy--it tastes so good and is satisfying, but is also very good for you. I'm guessing there are other Catholic bloggers out there. My interest in her blog isn't her Catholicness. (word?) It's her takes.

Another example, Jeff Goldstein, if he ever gets his sad carcass out of his burnt lawn patch and back behind the computer, writes with such style and intelligence that I feel grateful not to have to pay to read him. He's Jewish. He's agnostic? So what? Do I weigh his opinion more when I look at mid-east relations? No. It's just that his takes are smarter than a lot of others. Religion? Definitely not--he helps me define what I don't believe in that case. He makes me smarter.

What about the blogging lawyers? Reynolds, Cobb, Althouse, Volokh. I might ad that I completely disagree about some social issues with these people.

I could go on and on. There are so many brilliant, funny, and engaged people writing on the web, sometimes I pinch myself. How lucky am I? In the 50s, I might have been a frustrated June Cleaver. No more. I can indulge in part-time work that I love and stay intellectually challenged while keeping my priorities straight: putting my family first.

So no, Ms. Barber, I don't link you because of your skin color. There are other brilliant black conservatives that I don't read as much as I read you. Why? Time might be an issue, but I think it's really about style. You write with emotion and clarity. You are self-effacing and share many of my values. You've been through additction. You've seen tough times. You're human. Plus, I want you to find that good Christian man and get married and procreate. I feel like I know you. I feel like I'd like you.

As far as Obama goes, I think the Media like anyone who they believe will be the dagger in the heart of the Republicans. J.C. Watts didn't receive the love that Obama is getting. Look at Steele and Condoleeza Rice, and any other black politician who doesn't fit their belief mold. That he's half black is a big bonus. The Democrats and Media knnow that the black vote is slipping as more blacks come into the middle and upper classes and see their hard earned dollars float to never, never land.

As an aside, it irritates the heck out of me when a mixed race person is referred to as "black". I've always respected Tiger Woods because he refuses to be pigeon-holed racially. In America these days, a lot of mixing goes on. Are half-white, half-hispanic people Mexican? It's insulting. It's meant to divide.

How American Muslims View America Post-9/11

I didn't want to start today linking to this disturbing post by Charles at Little Green Footballs. I didn't want to, but I must.

He cites a survey from the Islamic Society of North America who he calls "a radical Islamic front group". All 307 respondants were American citizens. To give you just a taste of the results, I'll show you the results of the third question:

3. Is the American government at war with the religion of Islam?
YES - 208
NO - 79
If we are at war with Islam, why are we giving Billions with a "B" to Muslim countries to rebuild and come into the 21st century?

The second question is interesting:
2. Do you consider yourself to be a Muslim first, an American first, or both equally?
Do you consider yourself a Christian first or an American first? My list goes like this: God, Family, Country. But of course, my religious values are compatible with my country's values of free will, rule of law, love towards my fellow man even if I consider him a sinner--tolerance, etc.

The weirdest results are the psychological disconnect about 9/11. The majority of the respondants don't believe that Muslims hijacked planes and flew them in to the buildings, a huge majority believe the U.S. knew of the coming attacks, and nearly half believe the U.S. government organized the attacks.

Is this denial to hide their shame? Or do they truly believe the country they reside in is capable of such onerous action? Obviously these people are self-selected, not randomized Muslims. I'm wondering why there haven't been more polling efforts to determine how "moderate" U.S. Muslims view America.